October 1st to October 5th, 2008: When my medical researchers David and Eileen found Dr. Jahan and I was readily accepted into his practice, I assumed I’d meet the guy immediately. But after looking at my PET and CT scans his appointments scheduler explained that Dr. Jahan wanted me to start with the team of surgeons who would remove my tumor. Once the sarcoma had been excised, then we would meet to talk about future treatment. As emails and phone calls increased with various medical offices, I started to become agitated. It wanted a plan to take the tumor from my body. Underlying this escalating urgency was a truth that eluded me: I was in pain.
A couple of weeks earlier in Dr. Hufford’s office, he had told me bluntly, “You are in pain.” I was surprised by his assessment, although within hours after applying his prescribed Fentanyl patch, I felt relief. How could I not know that I was in pain? Some of the answer is that I think of pain as sharp, sudden, jarring, violent, and overwhelming. One of the reasons that I limped on my right leg for over a year and a half was that I was in what I called discomfort which was aching, constant, and steady. By my definition, I had experienced very little pain in my life, although I had certainly lived through episodes of discomfort. It became clear to me that I needed to listen to my body with more discernment and attention.